Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sports column

January 8, 2013

Column: Alabama can lay claim to a dynasty

MIAMI — A season of destiny, as it had been billed in South Bend, was no match for a newly-minted dynasty from Tuscaloosa.

The return to glory for Notre Dame, which hasn't won a national championship since 1988, will have to wait after Alabama destroyed the Fighting Irish to claim its third national championship in four years Monday night at Sun Life Stadium.

Alabama (13-1), scored 28 first-half points en route to a 42-14 win in the BCS National Championship game. So much for the most-anticipated match-up of the BCS era.

For Alabama it was a coronation as the Crimson Tide claimed the storied program's 15th national championship.

For Notre Dame it was another BCS bowl game collapse. Including appearances in the 2000 and 2006 Fiesta Bowls and the 2007 Sugar Bowl, the Irish are 0-4 in BCS bowl games and have been outscored, 158-57.

Notre Dame didn't even get on the board until 4:08 was left in the third quarter on a 2-yard scramble by quarterback Everett Golson, making it 35-7. At that point the score barely provoked a polite applause.

Whatever luck the Irish used to get into this game after an unlikely 12-0 start, was obviously used up shortly after kickoff.

A raucous Irish crowd that seemed to outnumber Alabama's contingent was quieted on the opening drive and really didn't have much cause to cheer the rest of the game. 

But they did have reason to boo.

Trailing 7-0, the Irish were forced to punt on their opening drive. Alabama returner Christion Jones fumbled the punt and Notre Dame's Zeke Motta recovered it. However, the officials ruled that a Notre Dame player had touched Jones first and called a penalty on the Irish.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was livid, screaming at the officials on the field, but the call remained.

Television replays show the ball was already loose. Instead of Notre Dame having the ball inside Alabama's 15 yard-line with a chance to tie the game, Alabama had the ball at their 39-yard line and would march down the field to take a 14-0 lead.

Notre Dame never recovered and Alabama was never seriously challenged after that. Exactly what couldn't happen if the Irish were to have a chance had happened. 

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